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Cathal, it's not that hard to ID these as long as they are males Waring and Townsend have a good figure.
I had a go at it last year and I failed miserably. Maybe I should stick at it. I found the detail very tiny and any photos I took were inconclusive. I will have another go this Autumn.
I tried to use the diagrams in Waring but my pics didnt tell me anything.
You should be able to get it down to either 1 (Small Autumnal Moth) or 3 (the rest) based on size.
Of the confusion three Pale November Moth flies earliest and has a clear spot on the wing (if if has a spot at all) so this could be that. But for me I would still say examination of the genitalia is required.
Give it another go. If you can find someone who knows what they are doing to also have a look and confirm your IDs that probably helps develop the skills.
The figures here http://www.mothscount.org/text/105/guide_to_difficult_species_online.html (although of fully dissected specimens rather than what you will be doing) might also help.
I will have another go. I dont think its Small Autumnal Moth based on size. This moth is as big as most larger 'carpets' and is the same size as all the Epirrita I saw last Autumn hwich was a lot of moths. I think its safe to say its one of the other 3. The fact that its worn this early in the Autumn might also point to it being the earliest flying species.
I usually only encounter particular species here at my latitude days or weeks after they have appeared on iSpot form southern English or Welsh sites.
Lat/Lng: 55.1226, -6.0788
OS grid ref: NW400885